According the the legend, Amaterasu, depressed over some bad behaviors of Her brother, Susawana, the storm god, hid Herself in a cave and refused to come out; and with the loss of the Sun,the Earth was covered with darkness and infertility. The gods and goddesses saw that the world was beginning to wither away and knew it would die without sunlight. Desperate now, they called on Uzume to lure Amarsata from the darkness.
It didn't take Uzume long to come up with a plan. The full-figured goddess turned over a large tub and stood upon it; She then began a frenzied sexual dance...Her feet drumming on the tub...and began tearing off Her clothing. The other gods and goddesses roared and laughed with delight at Her antics and joined in with Her boisterous singing and dancing. Amaterasu could here the laughter and became curious. She left the cave, and upon seeing the others laughing and having so much fun, She abandoned Her grief and emerged from the cave; thus, sunlight returned to the world.
During times of pain, we often find ourselves resting in the dark recesses of the symbolic cave of depression...and the longer remain there, the harder it is to climb out. This is when we need to invoke Uzume who teaches us that we can find healing and wisdom in humor. While you meditate on the goddess of mirth, feel Her feet drumming along with the beating of your heart. See Her laughing, Her mouth open wide, head thrown back in abandon. Hear Her voice coming from deep within...for the Azume is already within you...just waiting to inspire your emergence from the cave.